5 Things You Didn’t Know About Melissa McCarthy

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melissa

Melissa McCarthy is best known for her comedic performances in films like Bridesmaids and The Heat, as well as her less critically praised performance in her most recent film, Tammy. How well do you know one of the funniest women in Hollywood? The following are 5 things you probably didn’t know about Melissa McCarthy.

She dabbles in fashion design

McCarthy doesn’t just bring the funny—she can bring the fashion, too! She has designed several dresses and even wore a dress of her own design to the Emmy Awards the year she won for her work on the comedy series Mike and Molly.

She used to be a cheerleader

McCarthy was a cheerleader in high school; in fact, the actress was the head cheerleader on her high school’s team! However, she decided to quit the cheer squad after she began wearing goth clothes and living what she describes as a “goth lifestyle.” While she says that she still loved cheerleader, she didn’t know how to balance out her newfound interests with what was expected of her as a cheerleader.

She is well known for only taking short acting breaks after her pregnancies

McCarthy has two daughters: Vivian and Georgette. The actress only took a short break after giving birth to both children before returning to acting. In 2007, she gave birth to Vivian and returned to work 3 months later to work on Samantha Who. In 2010, she gave birth to Georgette and returned to work on Mike and Molly 4 months later.

She’s related to Jenny McCarthy

Melissa McCarthy doesn’t just share a last name with the famous Jenny McCarthy: they’re related! Melissa and Jenny are actually first cousins. She is the cousin of actresses Amy McCarthy, Lynette McCarthy and Joanne McCarthy.

She’s a “country girl”

McCarthy considers herself a country girl at heart; in fact, she grew up on a farm! She credits this upbringing with her love of animals and physical activity. Among the actresses many early “farm” adventures was an incident where she trapped inside a farm silo and needed assistance to get out.

She might star in the Ghostbusters reboot

McCarthy is currently being courted to star as one of the leads in the upcoming all-female Ghostbusters film. However, insider reports indicate that conflicts between the film’s production and the actress’ current TV and film schedule may present a problem with her being cast.


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5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Modern Family

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Modern Family, created by Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan, is a sitcom starring Ed O’Neill and Sofia Vergara; the program, which first premiered in 2009, airs on ABC and focuses on the extended suburban family of Jay Pritchett. The show has received critical acclaim, excellent ratings, and even awards: its awards include an Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, as well as the Golden Globe for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy. How much do you really know about Modern Family? Take a look at 5 things you probably didn’t know about this popular comedy.

One of the show’s main running jokes is drawn from real life

One of the show’s running jokes is that the father, Jay, keeps forgetting that Mitchell (his son) has come out as gay. This particular joke is drawn from the real life of Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who admitted in an interview that it took three separate tries coming out as gay to his own father before his father believed that it was true. After Ferguson relayed this story to the show’s writers, they decided to incorporate it into the storylines.

The show has a reference to Curb Your Enthusiasm and Beverly Hills Cop

The show has a reference that nods toward Curb Your Enthusiasm and Beverly Hills Cop; the license plate of the car that Mitchell and Cameron share is 2GAT123, the same license played use in Beverly Hills Cop and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

It was the first ABC series to win Outstanding Comedy in 22 years

Modern Family was the first show on ABC to win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series in 22 years. The last ABC show to win an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series was the Wonder Years, which won in 1988.

Britney Spears was offered a role

Britney Spears was reportedly offered a role in the show’s third season. However, Britney’s management agency took too long in getting back to the show’s writers, and by the time that they responded they had already begun work on season 3 and was unable to incorporate her into the show.

The show could have been animated

One of the earliest concepts for the show was to have it be an animated sitcom, in order to make it appeal to younger audiences, including children.


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Read Moreby chauswp83Comments Off on 5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Modern Family

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Spongebob Squarepants

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SpongeBob_SquarePants_main_characters

Spongebob Squarepants is Nickelodeon’s most successful animated shows; it is also arguably one of the most popular animated shows of all time. The show has been on the air for more than a decade, and has spawned two feature films—one which is to be released in 2015—and countless video games, books and other types of merchandise. But how much do you really know about this popular cartoon? Let’s look at 5 things you probably didn’t know about Spongebob Squarepants!

Spongebob is the only Nickelodeon show from the 90s still in production
Since the 1990s, many Nickelodeon shows have come and gone. Spongebob, which premiered in 1999, remains the only Nickelodeon show which was created in the 90s to still be in production as of 2014. This makes the show especially unique, since it can claim that multiple generations of children have been able to grow up watching new episodes as their air on the network.

The show’s creator has a background in marine biology
Stephen Hillenburg, who created the show, actually has a major in the field of marine biology, which inspired him to write the show.

The Krabby Patty wasn’t always called a Krabby Patty
The now famous Krabby Patty wasn’t always going to be called a Krabby Patty. In the earliest concepts of the show, the famous burger offered by Mr. Krabs at his restaurant was going to be called a “Barnacle Burger.” The show’s writers decided to change the name because they felt that Mr. Krabs would be egotistical enough to include a reference to his own name in the burger.

Only one season of the show used cel animation
Although the show aired during an era when many animated shows were created using cel animation, only one season—the show’s first—was drawn using traditional, hand-painted cel animation. After the show’s first season, episodes were digitally painted and animated using the latest technology.

The show has been nominated for many different awards
The show has received many different nominations and awards throughout its 15 year run. It has been nominated for a whopping eight Primetime Emmy Awards–including nominations for Outstanding Animated Program, nominations for Outstanding Children’s Program, and nominations for Outstanding Short. The show has repeatedly been named one of the Top Television Series by the ASCAP Film and Television Organization and it has even won multiple Kid’s Choice Awards.


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Does The Simpsons Take Place in Illinois?

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2012-04-10-the_simpsons_springfield

One of the greatest mysteries and longest-running in-jokes of the Simpsons is the fact that the show hasn’t revealed exactly “which” Springfield the show takes place in. There are many states with a Springfield, and multiple locations that could—at first glance—be represented in the cartoon. However, many longtime fans of the Simpsons believe that the show definitely takes place in Springfield, Illinois. Are these diehard fans right? Take a look at the following facts and judge for yourself!

It’s on the map
During the opening for the episode ‘The Ziff Came to Dinner,’ the couch gag includes a panning shot which begins inside Homer’s DNA and continues to zoom out until we see the family on the couch, their house above them, the town of Springfield, a map of the United States, and beyond—as the shot zooms out to reveal the map of the United States, the center of the screen is clearly shown in the middle of Illinois.

The real life Springfield, Illinois is near towns named in the show
In the show, the closest towns to Springfield are called Shelbyville and Ogdenville. The actual town of Springfield, Illinois is very close to a town called Shelbyville and a town called Ogden.

Krusty the Clown and Bozo the Clown
It’s obvious that Krusty the Clown’s show is essentially a parody of the immensely popular Bozo the Clown show. Bozo the Clown originated in—and was filmed in—Illinois. Clown shows weren’t limited to Illinois, of course, but in the context of many other details that suggest the show takes place in Illinois, it doesn’t appear to be a coincidence.

Illinois has the most nuclear power plants in the USA
The state of Illinois has more power plants inside its borders than any other state. The fact that the show’s Springfield has a nuclear power plant would not be out of place in the state of Illinois, although the real life Springfield does not have a plant.

The grave of Adlai Stevenson II is in Springfield
The grave of Adlai Stevenson II, a popular former governor of Illinois who died from a heart attack in the 1960s, is shown in the Springfield cemetery during on episode. The actual grave of Stevenson is, however, technically located in Bloomingfield, not Springfield—but what other reason would the shows writers have for putting the grave of an Illinois governor in the town?


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3 Underrated Simpsons Episodes

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SimpsonsRoastingOnAnOpenFire1

The Simpsons has been running for over two decades now, and there are many episodes considered “classics” by both diehard Simpsons fans and casual viewers who tune in every now and then. But there are some great episodes of the Simpsons that are often overlooked, underrated, and generally lost in the sea of Simpsons episodes. Let’s look at three underrated episodes of the long-running animated show, The Simpsons!

Simpsons Roasting On an Open Fire: Season 1, Episode 1
If you ask most people to tell you about the first episodes of the seasons, chances are that they won’t be able to remember the plot. But the very first episode of the Simpsons, which centers on the family adopting Santa’s Little Helper, is not only well written but even heartfelt. It received two Emmy Award nominations, garnered over 13 million viewers in its first premiere, and was the episode which launched the series. It’s not the most stylishly drawn or complex, but it’s a simple, emotional, and funny look into the early incarnation of the Simpson family.

Behind the Laughter: Season 11, Episode 22
The later seasons of the Simpsons aren’t exactly the greatest, but they do have the occasional hidden gem in a sea of rocks. Behind the Laughter was a tongue-in-cheek parody of the then-popular VH1 show, Behind the Music. The show treated the Simpsons as a show-within-a-show, with the entire family and city of Springfield being played by actors. It’s unique, witty—and evens a bit biting when it comes to its jabs at the popularity of drugs and wild behavior among musicians and actors in the industry.

The War of the Simpsons: Season 2, Episode 20
The earliest seasons of the Simpsons had a drastically different tone than the latest episodes today. But The War of the Simpsons is often overlooked despite its great balance of an important lesson and humor. On one hand, we have Homer and Marge having marital troubles due to Homer’s tendency to think more about himself and his needs than other people. On the other hand, we have Grandpa watching an increasingly wild Bart and Lisa. Both storylines wrap up beautifully–with Homer giving up the fish catch of a lifetime because Marge told him to, and Grandpa tricking the kids into making the house spotless by crying–and make The War of the Simpsons and underrated but definitely “must watch” episode.


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3 Mistakes Made by the Creators of Family Guy

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The production team behind Family Guy has made a lot of mistakes with the show—according to fans as well as critics. These mistakes include odd storylines and poor casting choices, just to name a few. The following are just some of many mistakes the show has made so far in its multi-season run.

Brian is a Jerk
In the original seasons, Brian was written as an intelligent dog that was typically the voice of reason in the family. This was an interesting gimmick—the dog being the smartest thing in the room. He was also in love with Lois, which made for some interesting and even loveable interactions between the two. Over time, however, Brian has devolved into a hypocritical, stereotypically “over the top liberal,” rude, slightly misogynistic failed writer who thinks only about himself. And instead of being actually intelligent, he often fakes intelligence before being called out by Stewie.

Too Much Time Travel
Time travel is a story device that should be used very sparingly—advice that was obviously never heard by the Family Guy writers. Stewie (or more correctly, Stewie and Brian) have gone back in time so much that the concept is now completely overused and boring. Mind Over Murder, Road to Germany, Big Bang Theory, Back to the Pilot, Chap Stewie, Christmas Guy–these are just a few of the episodes where Stewie and Brian go back into the past. It’s time for something new with these two!

Recasting the voice of Death
The character of Death, who first appeared in the show during the episode “Death Is A B—” was originally voiced by comedian Norm MacDonald, who was slated as a guest voice role. Initially, the character of Death was only meant to appear once; however, the character’s popularity made the writers decide to bring back the character for another appearance. Unfortunately, Norm MacDonald was currently working with his own show at the time, the short lived A Minute with Stan Hooper. Due to this unavailability, the producers hired Adam Carolla to voice the role for their newly written episode. But despite the fact that MacDonald’s show was quickly cancelled, they never attempted to get him back and return Death to his originally voice—while Carolla doesn’t do a terrible job, he doesn’t have the same fun wit as MacDonald had in the role.


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Things you didn’t Know About American Dad

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american_dad

Fans of the comedy animated series American Dad were stunned when FOX announced that they were canceling the show in 2014—they were then pleasantly surprised when TBS quickly announced that they had picked up the series, and would be airing a new season in late 2014. American Dad is one of the best animated shows currently on television; but did you know the following things about the show?

Klaus was meant to be French

Klaus, a former Nazi who was put into the body of fish by the American CIA, was originally written as a saucy French fish named Francois. However, when actor Dee Bradley Baker auditioned for the part, he revealed that while his French accent was pretty terrible, he was adept at German accents–and could even speak in German well. He was allowed to adapt his audition to suit his skills in German accents and sounds; the creative team loved his performance so much that they cast him, and then actually rewrote the character of Klaus in order to suit Baker’s voice talents.

The show finishes episodes long before they air

Unlike South Park, which completes episodes on a weekly basis and is able to remain topical and up to date throughout every episode in a season, most animated television shows are completed well in advance of their broadcast date. American Dad is no exception to this common rule. The creative team behind the show typically has anywhere from 20 to 40 episodes already finished and on deck, ready to air for the show’s next seasons. This does require the show’s writers to think hard about any contemporary references they might decide to put into the show, because by the time the show airs these references could be outdated or seem ridiculous.

The first episode had over 15 million viewers.

The very first episode of American Dad premiered on February 6th, 2005. It aired after the Super Bowl, which is a highly coveted time slot–especially for new shows just trying to gain interesting with new viewers. American Dad’s premiere episode had 15.1 million viewers, and is the hghest rated episode in the show’s entire history. Despite these high ratings for the premiere, the ratings dropped to 9.47 million by the show’s second episode–namely because the second episode aired three months after the first, losing viewers in the process.


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2 Episodes of South Park Trey Parker and Matt Stone Love

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South Park is one of the most popular comedy series of the past 2 decades—and definitely one of Comedy Central’s top shows in the history of the network. South Park is the brain child of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who continue to write for the show and provide almost all of the voices for each episode. Throughout the show’s double digit season run, there have been many highly praised episodes—but let’s take a special look at some of the episodes that Parker and Stone have admitted to being their favorites.

Terrance and Phillip in Not Without My Anus
This episode has a somewhat controversial history. The show’s first season ended with a cliffhanger that promised the revelation of Eric Cartman’s father would happen during the first episode of season 2. But rather than air the episode which continued the cliffhanger, Parker and Stone wrote a Terrance and Philip centric episode which parodied the popular book and TV film, Not Without My Daughter. While some fans appreciated the joke (the episode did, after all, air on April Fool’s Day) others were vocally upset with the duo for pulling the prank.

Matt Stone revealed that he loved the episode because it was different from anything they had done before due to the focus on Terrance and Philip. He also says he has a soft spot for the episode precisely because most people do not like it.

AWESOME-O
In AWESOME-O, Cartman plays an elaborate trick on Butters by dressing up as a robot and showing up on his doorstep. Right before he makes his big reveal, Butter reveals that he has secret dirt on Eric that he will show to everyone if Eric every tries to play a prank on him again: a video of Cartman dressed as Britney Spears in his backyard. Cartman must then keep his charade as ‘AWESOME-O’ while trying to figure out how to get away from Butters. In the end, Cartman’s disguise is revealed and Butters plays the video for the entire town.

Both Stone and Parker have said they love the episode because it has a great Butters/Cartman dynamic; Stone in particular enjoys the scene where Cartman, hungry because Butters does not think a robot needs to eat, rushes into the bathroom after an hours-long flight and gobbles down a tube of toothpaste.


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Read Moreby chauswp83Comments Off on 2 Episodes of South Park Trey Parker and Matt Stone Love

Sailor Moon Crystal Reveals New Animation for Blu-ray Release

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20140605_crystal020

Even diehard fans of Sailor Moon had to admit that the animation for the newly revived series, Sailor Moon Crystal, left much to be desired. Entire blogs have been dedicated to the mistakes and strange quirks of the animation, which often features limbs that suddenly look like they’ve turned to noodles, eyes that are on extreme sides of the face, and sometimes even ‘dead’ looking expressions—just to name a few problems.

The primary problem with the animation likely lies in the very low budget given to the team by Toei, who owns the copyright for the animated version of Sailor Moon. An extremely low budget means that the team doesn’t have the resources to spend additional time (and therefore, get paid money) on the series.

Thankfully, however, most of these problems with the animation may be swept aside when the show is released for home media on Blu-ray. The official Toei Animation YouTube page released a trailer for the Blu-ray version of the series, which showcased new animation that would appear on the Blu-ray version of the show’s episodes. The new animation was much more detailed, much more fluid, and it corrected most (but not all, of course) of the mistakes such as eyes that were too far apart, too small, and so on.

This trailer has been very well received by fans of the show from all over the world—the trailer was even a trending topic in Japan, where the animation has been especially harshly criticized in light of how hyped up the show was with various conferences and special events.

The reveal may also speak volumes about just how harsh the schedule to animate the show is for the creative team behind Sailor Moon Crystal. Shows are airing 2 weeks apart, which many fans at first believed was to ‘drag out’ the series as long as possible.

However given the low quality animation that appears throughout the show, it may be possible that Toei is making the animated team (as well as, potentially, the voice actor cast and other crew) animate each episode in 2 weeks rather than having them mostly finished before the series aired. This would explain the low quality as well as the desire for the team to go back and fix the animation, which may not be a reflection of their normal level of quality.


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Read Moreby chauswp83Comments Off on Sailor Moon Crystal Reveals New Animation for Blu-ray Release

Is the New Lalaloopsy Girls Spin-Off a Positive Message for Girls?

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lala-girls_zpsfee56e76

The Lalaloopsy franchise recently premiered its latest spin-off, Lalaloopsy Girls, which is aimed at a slightly older market than its normal dolls and its current Nickelodeon television show. The “normal” or older Lalaloopsy dolls and cartoon are aimed at children who are about 4 to 9 years old, while the Lalaloopsy Girl franchise is aimed at 9 to 11; the new franchise is also expected to be more appealing to doll collectors due to the similarity between the Lalaloopsy Girl dolls and similar franchises, such as Monster High or even Barbie.

Lalaloopsy Girls is also expected to release a cartoon, again aimed at the slightly older demographic, in 2015. But is the new spin-off a positive message for young girls? Or has it missed the mark in its attempt to be hip and cool? Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of the new Lalaloopsy Girls.

The success of the current Lalaloopsy TV series and the toy/doll line is that there are plenty of characters for young girls to love and to identify with—characters that are interesting in baking, or in sports, or science, or fashion, and so on. Girls need characters that exhibit these types of traits, especially if girls are often not portrayed being interested in them. The Lalaloopsy Girls franchise might be shaping up to be similar; it has already premiered six slightly older characters, all based on those from the original TV series.

The original Lalaloopsy TV series has been great for showcasing the different personality traits of the characters, which can then be transferred over to the dolls. The characters have many excellent traits for young girls, including interests in things which are traditionally considered “for boys,” such as science and math. But so far, the Lalaloopsy Girls franchise seems to be focusing more on fashion and fun than on definable character traits outside of fashion or sparkles. In a recent music video released to promote the franchise and the upcoming TV series, the characters were shown dancing in a school, including a science lab, but all they interacted with were glitter, clouds, and typical pink things. Hopefully, this is not a sign that the show will be moving away from having its characters interested in a plethora of positive things that young girls can relate to, such as actual science, actual mathematics, sports, and so on.


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Read Moreby chauswp83Comments Off on Is the New Lalaloopsy Girls Spin-Off a Positive Message for Girls?